NAME: Carrie Ann Golden
WHERE ARE YOU: Grand Forks, North Dakota
COMMUNICATION METHOD: spoken, text/email
YEAR OF USHER DIAGNOSIS: 1992
USHER TYPE: 2
FAMILY/CHILDREN: Husband of twenty years and a sixteen-year-old son
CAREER: Worked in the Banking industry for nearly 15 years after a short stint in the fitness/sports industry. “Retired” in 2015 at the age 44.
HOBBIES: Walk, jogging, writing, blogging, listening to music, love to binge-watch tv series
NAME THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE YOU: Eccentric, considerate, silly
WHAT ARE YOU SURPRISINGLY GOOD AT: Writing poetry, telling a joke, creating videos
WHAT ARE YOU HAPPIEST DOING? Connecting with people.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR PERSONAL MOTTO: Dreams never truly die; they just change their appearances.
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Diagnosed with hearing loss at age 6, and with RP at 21, I’ve battled with lack of self-confidence and social anxiety. More times than not, I’d lose. When I stepped back from the workforce in 2015, my struggle with these as well as with depression (because I’m isolated, unconnected and struggled with the fact I’ve lost my “identity” since I no longer work outside the home) increased immensely. This of course negatively affected both my husband and son. They believed in me; it’s just that I didn’t.
In June 2016, I attended my first Adult Week at the ND School for the Blind in Grand Forks, ND. Here I met others like me, and was introduced to the cane.
Fast forward to this past June (2019), I returned and learned much about the various technology available to those with visual impairments.
Less than a week after my time with the School, my husband called from work out of the blue and asked if I would present what I’ve learned to a group of STEM kids at a local school. I wanted to say no, but said yes instead! I had only less than two days to prepare, and of course plenty of time to find all sort of reasons to back out.
But, I didn’t.
It was probably one of the scariest moments of my life standing in front of a few dozens of middle grade students, but they were so attentive to what I had to say, the anxiety I’d felt in the beginning quickly subsided. As my husband drove me home (he was also there for my presentation which really made me feel nervous but as I focused more on the kids, I actually forgotten he was there!) I heard myself saying that I’d definitely do this again.
I still battle (some days are terrifying) with social anxiety and lack of self-confidence, but having done this I now know that once I put my mind to it and follow through, everything will work out just fine. And because of this experience, I am searching for other opportunities that would get me out of the house, and back to connecting with others.